Brexit

The Telegraph claims ‘plan B’ is being drawn up for when Mrs May’s deal is thrown out by the House of Commons. One might say that such a move is obvious.

Cabinet ministers and EU diplomats are secretly drawing up “Plan B” proposals for Brexit based on a growing assumption that Theresa May’s deal will be blocked by Parliament.
Senior figures on both side of the Channel are urgently plotting alternatives to the agreement struck by the Prime Minister after 91 Conservative MPs indicated that they would oppose it in the Commons.
The disclosure comes as EU leaders meet in Brussels to approve the Withdrawal Agreement and “political declaration” outlining the proposed future relationship between the UK and the bloc after Brexit.

The Times also covers the proposals.

The prime minister is facing a fresh cabinet mutiny after “remain” ministers began secret talks behind her back to force her to adopt a new plan B for Brexit.
Senior ministers are also in private discussions with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to draw up an alternative Brexit blueprint in the event that her deal is voted down by parliament.
The revelations come as Theresa May today launches a two-week PR blitz to save her government from collapse with an open letter to the nation proclaiming the deal — due to be signed today in Brussels — as “a new chapter in our national life”.

Conservative Party

Are there conspiracy theories about? The Times speculates

Theresa May does not normally engage in Westminster gossip so it was with some surprise that ministers watched her conclude cabinet on Tuesday by denouncing “conspiracy theories” about her plans to get parliament to approve her Brexit deal with Brussels.
The prime minister took the extraordinary step of categorically denying that she was planning to offer Jeremy Corbyn a deal: Labour support in the “meaningful vote” in the Commons in exchange for a general election, which the Labour leader craves.
The claims, which had been circulating among Brexit-backing MPs, were dismissed by the prime minister as “outrageous and untrue”.

And the Guardian claims she’s getting desperate.

An increasingly desperate Theresa May on Sunday appeals to the British people to unite behind her Brexit deal as she calls on Leavers and Remainers to end hostilities and use the UK’s departure from the European Union to usher in a period of national “renewal and reconciliation”.
With criticism of the package negotiated by the prime minister and EU leaders continuing to grow, and a new row erupting on Saturday night over Gibraltar, May attempts to go over the heads of warring politicians in her own party by publishing a letter directly “to the British people”.
In a bid to persuade the public to apply pressure to their own MPs to back her deal in a crucial vote in parliament next month, the prime minister says in the letter that the country must “get on with Brexi  now” so that ministers can focus on what matters most to people in their everyday lives – improving the NHS, building more homes and tackling injustices.
The letter has been distributed to the media and published on a new government website.

The Express says her letter is an ‘impassioned plea’.  You can read it here.

THERESA May has today made an impassioned appeal in an open letter to the nation asking the public to back her deal with the EU and deliver on Brexit.
With an historic summit underway today where Mrs May and the leaders of the 27 members of the EU will sign the Withdrawal Agreement, the Prime Minister promised “a brighter future” awaits the country if MPs accept her proposal. She hopes voter pressure will persuade waverers in Parliament to vote her way. But in a warning to the Government in today’s Sunday Express Jacob Rees-Mogg has said that he and many other Brexiteers will not support the deal in the Commons vote, expected on Wednesday 12 December.
After being compared to Captain Mainwaring earlier this week, the leader of the European Research Group (ERG) of Brexiteer Tory MPs took a quote from the Dad’s Army hero reminding Mrs May: “There are thousands of us all over Great Britain who will stand up for our freedom.”

The Mail calls the PM’s letter ‘extraordinary’.

Theresa May today makes an extraordinary plea directly to the British people to back her Brexit deal.
The Prime Minister has published an impassioned letter in which she promises to campaign with her ‘heart and soul’ to persuade MPs to vote for the deal in next month’s crunch Commons showdown, which will determine her political future.
But even as Mrs May arrived in Brussels last night for a summit intended to seal the deal, she was engulfed by a fresh storm over the future of Gibraltar after the British were forced to give Spain a veto over the territory’s inclusion in any future UK-EU trade deal.
It led incandescent Tory MPs to warn that Mrs May’s already shaky grip on No 10 could be fatally weakened if she had diluted Britain’s commitment to the Rock. On another day of drama in Mrs May’s Brexit battle:
Cabinet Ministers said ‘no deal’ was dead amid warnings that Chancellor Philip Hammond would quit if Mrs May tried to leave the EU without an emergency customs union plan in place;
Mrs May faced a fresh Cabinet split over plans to cut immigration, with Mr Hammond and Home Secretary Sajid Javid warning her of the economic impact of stopping unskilled migrants coming from Europe;
The Mail on Sunday learned that Environment Secretary Michael Gove decided against quitting the Cabinet in protest at Mrs May’s deal after reading ‘apocalyptic’ warnings about the effect of ‘no deal’ on the UK’s water supply;
Brexiteers descended into open warfare after a leading member of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s European Research Group (ERG) described a fellow Eurosceptic of being an ‘utter cock’ for accepting a knighthood.

The Sun says she’s copying a former Prime Minister.

THERESA May will take a leaf out of Tony Blair’s election-winning manual as she goes flat out to sell her Brexit plan to Britain.
The PM will give out millions of pledge cards summing up the five key “gains” of her deal for leaving the EU.
She hopes it will help explain a complex issue in simple terms – and help swing the tide of public opinion back on her side.
Mr Blair first dreamed up the wheeze in 1997 when he gave out handy little cards setting out the key targets for Labour’s first term in office.
They contained modest proposals such as cutting class sizes and NHS waiting lists but were brandished relentlessly throughout the election campaign.
They were judged to be such a success, that he repeated the idea in the 2001 and 2005 general elections.
Mrs May will this week unveil pledge cards of her own as she launches an all-out propaganda blitz to sell the hated deal to Britain.

And the Mail claims the chancellor will quit if the government went to WTO rules.

Philip Hammond would quit the Cabinet and take at least four Ministers with him if Theresa May tried to move towards a ‘no deal’ Brexit, Downing Street has been warned.
The Chancellor’s allies say that he and key colleagues would ‘walk’ if the Prime Minister reacted to losing next month’s crucial Commons vote by quitting the EU with no formal agreement about our future relationship.
They say Mr Hammond’s uncompromising stance is one reason why Mrs May has ‘downgraded’ her warnings about crashing out of the bloc with no deal and now tells her MPs there could be no Brexit at all if they reject the withdrawal agreement she has struck with Brussels.
The claims came as the Chancellor openly said the UK faced ‘economic chaos’ if MPs blocked the Prime Minister’s compromise and raised fears of ‘very serious’ consequences from a no-deal scenario, including job losses.

Gibraltar

The problems over The Rock seem to have been solved with another capitulation, says the Times.

Theresa May faced claims of capitulation last night as Britain gave way to Spanish demands over Gibraltar to clear the way for her Brexit deal to be approved today.
Sir Tim Barrow, Britain’s ambassador to the EU, sent a letter clarifying that the Rock would be covered by a future trade deal with the EU only with Madrid’s consent.
The statement was arranged after Pedro Sanchez, the Spanish prime minister, threatened to force the summit’s cancellation and “veto Brexit”.
But Sanchez immediately inflamed the situation, claiming the UK would now have to open talks on “joint sovereignty” of Gibraltar. He declared: “Europe and the UK have accepted the demands put forward by Spain.”

But she still went to Brussels to sign the deal, says the Mail.

Theresa May has cleared the latest hurdle in her Brexit negotiations as she arrived in Brussels last night with EU leaders set to approve her deal at a crunch summit today.
Spain has dropped its threat to veto the deal, saying Mrs May had caved in to Madrid’s demands to have a say over the future of Gibraltar and take the Rock out of UK-EU trade talks.
But Mrs May insisted last night that the UK’s position on Gibraltar had not changed, saying she would always ‘stand by’ its citizens, while the territory’s chief minister denied that Spain had secured new guarantees.
European Council chief Donald Tusk said he would ask EU leaders to approve the deal at Sunday’s summit. 

Spain was crowing over Gibraltar, says the Sun.

SPAIN claimed a major win in their fight to rule Gibraltar last night – causing a fresh Brexit headache for Theresa May.
The PM was forced to give written confirmation of their veto over the Rock in future trade talks with the EU.
Gloating Spanish premier Pedro Sanchez boasted his country is a step closer to taking control of the British territory.
His bluster took the shine off Mrs May’s big moment as she clinched the finishing touches to her Brexit deal in last-ditch talks with EU chiefs.
Clearly rattled, she was forced to issue an assurance that Gibraltar would remain British.
She added: “The UK’s position on the sovereignty of Gibraltar has not changed and will not change.

The Guardian accuses her of betrayal.

Theresa May has been accused of betrayal after giving way to Spain’s demands over the future of Gibraltar, a disputed British overseas territory, in the latest concession designed to keep the Brexit deal on track. With the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, threatening to veto May’s deal at Sunday’s leaders’ summit in Brussels, the British government was forced to publicly concede on Saturday that Gibraltar will not necessarily be covered by a future trade deal.
Sánchez immediately claimed that he would use the concession to force the British to open talks on joint sovereignty of Gibraltar, over which Spain has had a claim since the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.
He said: “Once the UK has left the EU, Gibraltar’s political, legal and even geographic relationship with the EU will go through Spain
“Spain will be a fundamental pillar of the relationship between Gibraltar and the EU as a whole.

In another lie, May has claimed she has not given in to Spain says Sky News.

Theresa May insisted the UK’s position on Gibraltar “has not changed” after she was accused of caving in to Spanish demands ahead of Sunday’s Brexit summit.
The prime minister arrived in Brussels as EU leaders prepare to approve the UK’s withdrawal agreement, which had been threatened by a diplomatic row with Madrid.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez revealed he would no longer vote against the Brexit deal, saying the UK and EU had agreed to demands for guarantees over the status of Gibraltar in future negotiations.
Mr Sanchez claimed the agreement allowed Spain to talk about “co-sovereignty” of the territory in the coming years.
But in a sharp response, Mrs May said: “The UK’s position on the sovereignty of Gibraltar has not changed and will not change.

EU

The Telegraph reports on today’s summit meeting.

Months ago the extraordinary EU leaders’ summit to ‘seal the deal’ on Brexit was conceived as a big momentum moment; a heavyweight, set-piece occasion in which Theresa May’s Brexit deal took on an unstoppable quality.
The summit atmosphere was never intended to be to be chummy, but still, this was the moment when the cover-up was applied to the negotiation room bruises and all 28 leaders agreed that these were the only viable terms for the United Kingdom to make an orderly exit from the EU.
If the Chancellor of Germany and the President of France both backed the deal for the sake of stability on both sides of the Channel, would a rump of Brexiteers really look credible when defying them?

Labour Party

Will the Labour Party support a second referendum? It might, says the Times.

John McDonnell held secret talks with the People’s Vote campaign last week amid growing signs that Labour might support a second Brexit referendum.
The shadow chancellor hosted Tom Baldwin and Alastair Campbell, the former spin doctors to Ed Miliband and Tony Blair respectively who are now campaigning for a new vote, in his Commons office on Thursday.
It is understood McDonnell saw polling figures that showed Labour voters overwhelmingly supported a second vote, something that grassroots activists and Labour MPs are pressing the leadership to agree.

Scotland

And the situation north of the border could cost the Scots, reports the Telegraph.

Ending freedom of movement with Brexit could cost Scotland £2 billion in tax revenues, the Scottish Government has said.
Nicola Sturgeon has been making the case for permanent single market and customs union membership in meetings with Westminster leaders as Theresa May continues to detail her deal.
With Scotland’s population growth over the next 25 years predicted to come from migration, the Edinburgh government has also been calling for the area to be devolved.

Galileo

The Times calls the proposed deal ‘second rate’.

A plan drawn up by the EU for Britain to be a second-rate member of the EU’s Galileo global positioning system was taken out of the Brexit deal at the last minute after a cabinet rebellion led by Gavin Williamson.
The defence secretary demanded the removal of clauses saying the UK could stay in the Galileo programme but only as a “third party” because the armed forces would have been at the mercy of a system run by other countries.
The EU plan meant Britain would have had to pay to stay in the project but would not have been involved in shaping its future or sharing in the profits when other countries bought in.

NHS

The Mail has a story about an elderly woman member of staff.

An 88-year-old woman sacked from her job as an NHS secretary has become the oldest person ever to sue an employer for age discrimination.
Eileen Jolly was dismissed in January last year over claims she did not properly use a computer system at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.
The NHS trust admits she was unfairly dismissed as she was not given the chance to appeal, but insists the decision to sack her was not made on the basis of her age.
However, Mrs Jolly says an internal report into her work compiled by a manager included ‘unpleasant remarks’ about her age and health.

Islamophobia

The Times questions racist attitudes towards non-muslims.

Non-Muslims have become victims of Islamophobia because of racist attitudes towards Muslims, according to a hard-hitting new report due to be published this week.
Asian people, including Sikhs, white people who marry Muslims but do not convert to their faith and the families of converts to Islam, have all faced abuse and violence, the all-party group on British Muslims reveals.
The findings are in a report drawn up by the cross-party group of MPs and peers — including the former Conservative chairman Baroness Warsi — which has for the first time set out a new definition of Islamophobia.
The group met Sajid Javid, the home secretary, on Tuesday in an attempt to make the government adopt the new definition.

Education

Teachers are being put off by long school reports, says the Telegraph.

Lengthy school reports are “incredibly burdensome” for teachers and should be replaced with shorter versions, government advisers have concluded.
A review commissioned by Damian Hinds, the Education Secretary, found “limited evidence” for the benefits of progress reports that go beyond the “relatively lean” basic requirements imposed on schools.
It also suggested expanding the use of “automatic reporting” to parents – currently used by some schools to flag up a child’s absence.
Mr Hinds’s department has now pledged to review national guidance on school reports, suggesting it could be altered to warn teachers against sending long updates to parents and guardians.

Winter

We could be in for a bad winter, says the Sun.

SNOW is set to blanket Britain next week as forecasters warn the cold weather is here to stay until Christmasin what could be the UK’s chilliest winter in eight years.
Brits face wet and mild weekend weather but a cold snap in the midweek is expected to bring Arctic conditions.
Meteorologists say a “battleground scenario” will play out over the next few weeks with snowfall coming and going until Christmas day.
The predictions give hope to Brits dreaming of a White Christmas this year.
Heavy snow dumps froze the northern parts of the UK this week with inches covering the hills of the Peak District in Derbyshire.
Conditions look bleak for the weekend after the Met Office issued a Yellow weather warning yesterday as torrential, thunderous downpours continue across the southwest.
They are expected to continue well into Saturday.

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